Ruben Hairston, South Kight Drive, LaGrange
Occupation: Meriwether County School System
Education: Troup County High School, Fort Valley State University
Relevant experience: 29 years’ experience in law enforcement, beginning as a sheriff’s deputy in Peach County. In 1982, returned to Troup County as a deputy sheriff. From 1983 to 1990, worked as a constable in the Troup County Marshal’s Office. From 1990 to 2005, served as chief marshal and from 2005 to 2010, worked as a homeland security investigator.
Hairston, the Democratic challenger in the Troup County Sheriff’s race, has a seven-point plan for the office if he is elected Nov. 6.
• Keeping front-line deputies on the streets
• Creating a victim support program
• Keeping seniors safe
• Caring for youth
• Partnering with “Keeping Kids Safe” project
• Innovation in lowering inmate populations
• Personnel and training
“Above and beyond developing our long-term goals together, the citizens of Troup County need a law enforcement agency that is responsive to their needs, and a sheriff they can truly trust in making decisions in their best interest.”
Hairston said the biggest issue the sheriff’s department faces right now is overcrowding in the jail and county correctional institute. He believes the drug court and mental health court, proposed earlier this year, will help with overcrowding. He also wants to create a female work release program for female inmates.
He also wants to create a joint crime task force with surrounding law enforcement agencies to concentrate on high crime areas.
“This was implemented in Columbus and it was successful,” he said.
He wants to address another issue – what he sees as a lack of mentoring programs for youth – by reimplementing the DARE program in the schools.
“Children have fallen by the wayside,” he said. “It has a snowball effect. I have a long history of working with youth.”